Now let me talk about a little bit about praying with jamaah or with the congregation, with other people. So there are couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, for jamaah, first comers always take the first row. And secondly…
So if there is a jamaah, that means there is an Imam and jamaah is basically led by imam himself. So in some prayers, there is a voluntary prayer which we call sunnah, right before the fardh, the mandatory prayer or after the mandatory prayer. There is sometimes a voluntary prayer.
And when we perform with imam, please make sure to keep in mind, according to Hanefi, again I am talking about according to Imam Hanefi, Nu’man Ibn-i Sabith, Imam Hanefi, I’m talking according to his views. The congregation follows the lead of the Imam, with the exception of ruqu and sajdah. While bowing (ruquh) or prostrating (sajdah) we must still say the mandatory parts of the prayer on our own, Subhana Rabbiyal Azeem and Subhana Rabbiyal Ala respectively. We also recited the prayers at the end of the prayer, while sitting. But, when it comes to the recitation of Surah Fatiha, the Imam alone recites while in congregation. We do not read along with the Imam. Please keep that in mind.
Let’s say you came to the second raqaah and people already prayed two raqaah. Raqaah means cycle, each cycle. You missed two cycles. Basically you make up the two cycles that you missed right after people give salaam, people finish their prayer. You have to make it up.
Praying with jamaah is very important. Some scholars have stated that prayers not prayed in jamaah or congregation is not considered complete, so the congregational prayer is very important.
There are strong hadith, sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) and one of them is I can just say it over here. “The difference between the prayer that you perform by yourself and the prayer that you perform with the congregation is that the prayer performed with congregation is 27 times worthy before Allah (swt) than the one you did by yourself”.
So it has been always important for social reasons, for psychological reasons, for many reasons to come to congregation and pray with the society together. And imagine you are sharing since everybody is Muslim, black, white, rich, and just imagine you are meeting five times a day in the same spot and you are putting your forehead to the same spot with these people, there is going to be an automatic brotherhood, there is going to be an automatic social awareness of everything around you. So therefore jamaah is very important. Being part of the jamaah, being part of the congregation is very important and encouraged by our religion, by our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) specifically.
Let me give you an example of in case that you miss a cycle or raqaah people already started with jamaah and you missed one or two raqaah. Let’s start with isha prayer or maghrib prayer. You missed let’s say one raqaah. That means you missed Imam reciting Fatiha and one zamm-i surah, that means part of Quran. After people finish their prayer and give salaam, then you stand up and recite Fatiha in the prayer and little part of Quran and then complete it with a cycle. Basically you need to make up whatever you have missed. But this time you have to recite it since you missed. I mean Imam cannot recite it for you. You have to actually recite it and complete that prayer that way.
Let’s say you missed in the maghrib prayer, in the sunset prayer, two cycles. I’m giving this example because that’s a little complicated than the others. Let me give you this example. Because it has normally three cycles. And you are missing two cycles. There are sitting two times inside this completion. So that’s why it’s a little bit complicated.
Let’s say you’re able to only make one cycle of it. You missed two cycles, two raqaah of the prayer. What you need to do after people give salaam, imam and other congregation give salaam and complete their prayer, you stand up, you recite Fatiha and zamm-i surah, part of Quran, as you should be. And sit down. And sit. Recite Ettahhiyyatu lillahi while you are sitting and get up again. Recite Fatiha and part of Quran again, and second time sit and finish your prayer.
So that looks a little bit complicated but for the rest whatever you missed regarding recitation, which cycle, doesn’t matter. Whatever you missed, you need to make it up by yourself. You need to recite yourself.